Spring Preview — Special Teams
However, Crosby struggled at times with consistency on his point after attempts, hitting on 31-of-37 tries. At times, his ball was too low coming off his foot in 2003, leading to some blocked kicks. Crosby regularly boots 60-plus yarders in practices, and with a season of experience under his leg, expect him to take a step forward this spring.
Eberhart gives the Buffs depth at place-kicker, as does senior J.T. Eberly.
Torp (6-2, 200), a junior, was one of the team's bright spots last season, averaging 42.5 yards per punt in his first season of live action. Torp also proved he's a threat with the ball tucked under his arm, running for 30 yards on three fake punt plays, earning first downs on each try.
Torp had four punts blocked in 2003, mostly due to mistakes in the blocking up front.
The Buffs return short-snapper Greg Pace (6-0, 235), but must replace long-snapper Jake Jones.
With Bloom's availability uncertain, due to his skiing endorsements, Colorado must find a punt returner and kick returner. Redshirt freshman Stephone Robinson (5-9, 175) will get a good look. Robinson was a dangerous returner in high school, and has the ability to make people miss in the open field. He needs to prove he has sure hands. Senior Mike Duren (5-9, 190) and redshirt freshman Dusty Sprague (6-4, 180) could also be in the mix.
Colorado will look at several kickoff returner possibilities, including Robinson, junior J.J. Billingsley (5-11, 185) and sophomore Terrence Wheatley (6-0, 165).
Vance Washington (5-9, 180), who had a blocked kick in 2003, could take over the role vacated by graduated Marcus Moore as the team's best gunner in special teams coverage situations. Kyle Griffith (6-2, 200) returns after scoring 11 special teams points (for tackles and knockdown blocks) last season, second most on the team.
The Buffs are fine in the special teams skill positions heading into spring. The biggest challenge is for the various specials squads to get better in coverage situations, and in return schemes. The Buffs managed just one return score (a Bloom 88-yard kickoff return for touchdown) in 2003, but gave up touchdowns on one kickoff, one punt, as well as two touchdowns off blocked punts and a safety off another block.
Talk about this in the Ralphie's Den MESSAGE BOARD